by Leslie Cook
Date Published - Last Updated June 2, 2016

Fiserv was one of the three finalists for the HDI Knowledge-Centered Support Award in 2014. New this year, the HDI Knowledge-Centered Support Award recognizes an organization that has successfully implemented or improved one or more service offerings. The finalists were honored, and the winner announced at FUSION 14 in Washington, DC.

Fiserv, Inc., is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry. We have 16,000 clients worldwide, including banks, credit unions, and thrifts of all sizes, billers, mortgage lenders and leasing companies, telecommunications and utility companies, brokerage and investment firms, healthcare and insurance providers, retailers, and municipalities. Through our direct clients and products, we support 70 million online banking users, 10 million mobile banking users, 24 million active bill pay users, and more than 20 million debit accounts services annually. In 2013, Fiserv reached 24 billion digit payment transactions, 12 billion credit, debit, and ATM card transactions, and 4 billion remote deposit capture items. Fiserv’s support organization is segmented into three lines of business—bill pay, card, and biller services—spans three sites within the United States, and employs 900+ call center agents.

What was the situation before the launch of the knowledge management initiative?

Before launching our knowledge management initiative, the Fiserv support center had one dedicated resource tasked with maintaining the knowledge base and other standalone knowledge applications, but no workflow for capturing knowledge. The support center had an upgraded knowledge base system—with 10,594 articles viewed each month, on average—but all proactive and reactive knowledge updates were being submitted via email.

What was the knowledge management strategy?

Fiserv began implementing its knowledge management strategy in 2012. First, they implemented a process to streamline the receipt of knowledge updates. Then they incorporated new workflows into the SharePoint environment to facilitate reactive and proactive knowledge management. By the end of the year, they had implemented a feedback loop between the support organization and the knowledge management organization, and the entire knowledge management team was certified in KCS Foundations.

In 2013, the support center began researching industry best practices for the integration of KCS. They analyzed their current environment and developed a strategic plan for sunseting knowledge applications that were creating duplicate efforts. They also built a strategic road map for driving KCS adoption and knowledge sharing, and they began researching tools that would enable them to effectively integrate the KCS methodology into the organization.

This year, we’ve been focused on increasing usage of the knowledge base and the adoption of knowledge principles.

Which processes and tools had to be implemented, modified, or leveraged to support the knowledge management strategy?

Workflow Redesign and Knowledge Education

In early 2012, Fiserv began to integrate KCS best practices by tasking subject matter experts with reviewing and approving content updates. Almost two years later, knowledge management worked with the support organization to streamline the workflow process and reorganize the subject matter experts into a centralized organizational structure. This centralized structure enables the subject matter experts to continue supporting the organization in a cross-functional capacity while increasing the knowledge and support provided to the agents. The subject matter experts (KCS Contributors) completed training and certification in KCS best practices, and they now act as KCS champions across the organization.

To support these improvements, we implemented the following modifications to our tools:

  • A workflow implemented within Microsoft SharePoint
  • A SharePoint suggestion form implemented into the knowledge base
  • Streamlined communications templates implemented in Outlook and embedded into the knowledge base to promote consistent communication throughout the workflow process
  • A training and certification process for all subject matter experts and leadership
  • Leveraged email, Symon Digital Display Monitor, and overview sessions for communication and marketing across the organization

Associate and Leadership Engagement

Fiserv expanded the current knowledge base environment to incorporate support center-specific guidelines, career development opportunities, recognition of associates, monthly organization updates specific to goal performance, and a welcome center for new associates. For leaders, the knowledge management team implemented a leadership-specific knowledge base configuration for content specific to onboarding associates, workforce management, and coaching. This made the knowledge base a central repository for capturing knowledge in support of all aspects of the support organization.

To support these improvements, we implemented the following modifications to our tools:

  • Leveraged SharePoint as a central repository for all content collected for both associate and leadership engagement section/configurations in the knowledge base
    • Developed an associate engagement configuration within the knowledge base
    • Developed a leadership configuration within the knowledge base
  • Leveraged email, Symon Digital Display Monitor, and overview sessions for communication and marketing across the organization

Knowledge Base Redesign

Through feedback and research around knowledge management best practices, the knowledge management team identified opportunities to streamline the procedures, job aids, and communications required by each line of business and then segment them by individual configurations (profiles) within the knowledge base. This increased functionality has enabled more-efficient search at the line-of-business level.

To support these improvements, we implemented the following modifications to our tools:

  • Redesigned the knowledge base to segment content by the three lines of business supported
  • Procedures and job aids segmented by line of business, and then platforms within each line of business
  • Communications segmented by line of business
  • A digital pin board to allow agents to create a personalized space of procedures, job aids, and communications for quick access
  • Leveraged email, Symon Digital Display Monitor, and overview sessions for communication and marketing across the organization

What organizational changes (cultural, structural, or political) had to be implemented or modified to support the knowledge management strategy?

During this initiative, the support organization realigned its structure and leadership roles by line of business across the three sites. By aligning the knowledge base in the same structure, it allowed for each line of business to take ownership and align expectations specific to knowledge capture and sharing within their defined organizational structure. This gave the knowledge management an opportunity to provide monthly reporting that reflects total content updates and articles viewed by line of business. This realignment specific to the knowledge base redesign gave the knowledge management team an organization-wide focus. This newfound focus has allowed Fiserv to continue to drive and further embed KCS best practices, and increase adoption and usage across the organization.

How did your organization define success for this initiative?

The organization defined the success of the initiative in terms of several key metrics: improved customer issue resolution, reduced average handle time, improved consistency and quality across all types of customer interactions, reduced time for new associates to reach effective levels of production, reduced time spent onboarding new associates, increased use of the knowledge base, increased effectiveness of search, and reduced time to resolution.

What were some of the lessons learned?

Executive sponsorship is critical. Don’t let yourself get stuck attending only to the day-to-day needs of maintaining your knowledge management environment and forego having frequent and critical conversations with your executive leadership. They must understand the vision and purpose of your knowledge management structure, and they must be able to articulate that vision to the rest of the organization’s leadership.

Engagement at all levels ensures the credibility and accuracy of the content, with greater engagement leading to better and still more accurate, more timely content. This will ultimately empower the organization to reach new levels of employee and customer experience excellence.

Has your organization implemented KCS? Get recognized for your work! Apply for the HDI Knowledge-Centered Support Award.

Tag(s): case study, KCS